Young Guns: When to Teach Kids to Shoot
By Noah Alkinburgh
Working in the gun industry, people often ask me when they should introduce their kids to guns. What I’ve learned over the years teaching my own kids about the subject is that it’s different for every child. Through trial and error, I found that certain lessons help more than others. While introducing shooting to kids early helps, so does taking incremental steps so they learn and appreciate the sport.
Teaching (and Re-Teaching) Safety
For each one, I set clear boundaries. I stressed that guns are not toys and that they should neither discuss nor show them off to their friends when they visit our home. I made very clear — and never tried to hide — the destructive power of a firearm. At the same time, I taught them that guns were nothing more than tools. I didn’t just have one conversation with my kids about gun. I kept reminding and enforcing gun safety rules. I did this even with their Nerf guns so that when they had an actual firearm the behavior was second nature.
Give Them a Choice
After safety lessons, I let my kids dictate if they even wanted to shoot. I learned early on, especially with my daughters, that making them